The Munich archdiocese’s goal, it said, was for “LGBTI people to experience appreciation throughout the parishes of the entire archdiocese” and find programs “about their life situation, in which they feel accepted and taken seriously as people and members of the Church.”
A number of German prelates have called publicly for changes in the Church’s stance on homosexuality. There have also been similar appeals in neighboring Austria.
German bishops who have so far publicly voiced support for blessing same-sex unions include Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Bishop Franz-Josef Bode of Osnabrück, Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, and Bishop Heinrich Timmerervers of Dresden-Meißen.
Bishop Georg Bätzing, the president of the German bishops’ conference, called in December 2020 for changes to the section on homosexuality in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which was promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1992 as an authoritative guide to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
According to CNA Deutsch, Bätzing said that he believed a change to the Catechism was necessary, expressing openness to blessings of homosexual unions, saying “we need solutions for this.”
The Catechism states: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.’ They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.”
It continues: “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.”
It concludes: “Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”